Sunday, 18 May 2014
FOR THE RECORD: PRINCE & 3RDEYEGIRL Live @ Manchester, England (16/05/14)
Long Live The Prince.
Purple confetti rained with dashings of white as the Prince formerly known as The Artist harmonised through the "oohs" of his signature song with a capacity crowd sold out with smiles. The same confetti that now belongs in this writers room along with the purple ticker tape of a celebration from a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game...because great moments like this don't just happen every day. They're something to savour. From the ticket stub to the thrift store bound knock off t-shirts. All hail the Prince and the vision of the revolution of his new group 3RDEYEGIRL in all their guitar rock power generation. Live music has never sounded this good...especially to a stadium sound in an amazing arena reserved for the best. This writer has been lucky enough to see the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, R.E.M., Jay-Z, the boss himself Bruce Springsteen and even Ben Harper last week but nothing has been more alive in concert then this. Under the northern lights Manchester is a motown city with a twist that is just as legendary famous for Northern Soul as it is Oasis, The Stone Roses or Morrisey, nothing has rocked harder in this funky place with more heart and soul than the purple one from Paisley Park. Little did this writer know when he was travelling in this true king of pop, rock, funk, soul and damn near every genres home of Minneapolis during a tour of the United States Of America that mere months later he'd get even closer (four from the front in fact) to a musical genius hero and showman still doing it in the wake of the late, great Michael Hutchence of INXS and Freddie Mercury of Queen.
As this Prince displayed all his excess, even releasing purple and white balloons like a Dave Chappelle skit grape offering to the rafters in closing celebration to the last bars of 'Purple Rain' we where taken even higher. This writers never drunk or got high, but I can imagine this joy is even better. A musicology overdose of outstanding hits and the realest riffs that show his guitar playing is as criminally underrated as his genius is unanimously critically acclaimed. It was all worth it. Worth the 70 sterling price of admission even if you '31,21' fans who saw that album tour priced to the album name wish his new coming soon set was called '21, 95' and not 'Plectrum Electrum'. Worth the rush for hot cake tickets, running around to catch them if you could like that day you tried to get the scoop of his formidable free 'Planet Earth' and '20Ten' albums from his newspaper supplements....oh and he played the glorious 'Guitar' too which is a cult classic which shows more of that underappreciated axe slaying and slashing. It was worth all the wait. Through having and holding in your stereo all the 30 plus albums that average each of the 30 plus years he's been as the closest thing to Springsteen and Michael Jackson as this generations American legend and greatest of all time. Taking his place inbetween the Hendrix's, Berry's, Richard's, James', Browns' and Family Stone's with all his Earth Wind and Fire.
Nothing compared 2 this. Could this be the most beautiful concert in the world? Even if you couldn't wait long enough for the lines of his guerilla 'Hit & Run' tour to start this year you had it all over the hours he gave to Part II. With your phones in your pocket and your social media feeds missing some photos as per restricted, your eyes themselves got to witness something that no camera could capture in all its classic captivating stage setting show stopper. As soon as that white veil dropped and you saw one of the greatest musicians take the stage like his look and sound hadn't aged a day it was time to be lost in the purple haze of the atmospheric intro opening of 'Let's Go Crazy' that left all the dearly beloved gathered here today rocking out like that as soon as the guitars kicked in. No elevator could bring is down as Prince took us with him across the soundscape of his super songs. There was no ceiling through his infectious and inspired enthusiasm and energy to the signature stances with the guitar that beautifully betray the middle age of his legs. His friendly frown-faced play along to our sing along that showed this guy is one bad mother-funker who can have a joke with anyone even himself. Smiling warmly at individual fans that new everything from 'Raspberry Beret' to 'She's Always In My Hair'. With his afro out proud this guy held nothing back. He's supposed to be a recluse but you could be sitting in the nosebleeds and never have felt as closer.
We didn't care what he did, or where he went, because he took us with him. Through a 'Little Red Corvette' with his funky foot firmly on the accelerator of his guitar pedal to the audience lip syncing of 'Kiss' for some extra time and rhyme. Still when Prince played piano over some of his best work from some opening chord teasing of 'Under The Cherry Moon' to the magnificent medley of the melodies of 'Diamonds and Pears' and 'The Beautiful Ones' this was as ivory inspired as the introspection of his influence over London's 02 arena for 21 nights in 2007. Even 'When Doves Cry' moved people to the same unbelievable tears that came with the cheers when 15 years later we partied like it was '1999'. He was scorching when he dialled numbers into the 808 for the sensational synths of 'Hot Thing', he was cool and ice cold when he sang about there being 'Something In The Water'. He had the crowd at the feet of his symbol mic stand from the greatest hits to the ones some didn't know. They where all embraced. There was no complaint that some of the 'Cream' of his classic crop where missing on the milk carton like the 'Gold' of 'Get Off', 'Sexy M.F', 'Darling Nikki' and more like his legendary love symbol guitar. What he and his crew assembled on the Gibson's and Fenders' broke the strings of any other singers music rap sheet. All the way to the epic encore this man is legendary known for. All the verbs that could try and value in all their versatility all the verses this man has would not be enough for all the Dylan chasing songbook that became the sensational set-list of this nights great gig. After all this well worth time to want more-even to go the following night-seems so selfish but that's just how great he is. We just hope there's even more albums and tours for the Prince we should all hail as king. After running through his hits with electrum electricity our eardrums are eager for more. This Prince still reigns in a shower of purple that made the united Manchester that night his oasis. Now we're talking about a revolution that this next '3RDEYE' generation can experience in all it's new power. TIM DAVID HARVEY.